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Nizārī- Ismā'īlī, Ithna Ashari Shia, and Sunni

Significant populations in:

South Asia, East Africa, Europe and North America


The Indo-Aryan languages of Sindhi, Gujarati, Memoni, Kutchi


Primarily Nizārī Ismā'īlī, with significant Twelver Shi'a and Sunni minorities

The Khojas (, , ) are a group of diverse people who converted to Islam in South Asia. The word Khoja derives from Khwāja (New Persian Khājé), a Persian honorific title of pious individuals from Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.

In India, most Khojas live in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and the city of Hyderabad. Many Khojas have also migrated and settled over the centuries in East Africa, Europe and North America. The Khoja were by then adherents of Nizārī Ismā'īlīsm. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in the aftermath of the Aga Khan Case a significant minority separated and adopted Twelver Shi'ism or Sunni Islam, while the majority remained Nizārī Ismā'īlī.

Khoja (Turkestan)

Khwāja or Khoja, (, ), a Persian word literally meaning 'master', was used in Central Asia as a title of the descendants of the noted Central Asian Naqshbandi Sufi teacher, Ahmad Kasani (1461–1542) or others in the Naqshbandi intellectual lineage prior to Baha al-din Naqshband. The most powerful religious figure in the late Timurid era was the Naqshbandi Shaykh Khwaja Ahrar. The Khojas often played, or aspired to play, ruling roles in the Altishahr or present day region of Tarim Basin in Xinjiang, China.

The Khojas of Altishahr claimed to be Sayyids (descendants of Mohammed) and they are still regarded as such by the fraternity people of Altishahr. Although Ahmad Kasani himself, known as Makhdūm-i-Azam or "Great Master" to his followers, never visited Altishahr (today's Tarim Basin), many of his descendants, known as Makhdūmzādas, and bearing the title Khoja (properly written and pronounced Khwaja) played important parts in the region's politics from the 17th to 19th centuries.

On the death of Aḥmad Kāsānī, a division took place among the Khojas which resulted in one party becoming followers of the Makhdum's elder son Khoja Muhammad Amin better known as Ishan-i-Kalan and another attaching themselves to his younger son Khoja Muhammad Ishaq Wali. The followers of Ishan-i-Kalan seem to have acquired the name of Aq Taghliqs or White mountaineers and that of Ishaq Qara Taghliqs or Black mountaineers but these names had no reference to the localities where their adherents lived. All were inhabitants of the lowlands and cities of Eastern Turkistan but each section made allies among the Kyrgyzs of the neighboring mountains and apparently subsidized them in their internecine battles. The Kyrgyz tribes of the Western Tian Shan ranges lying to the north of Kashghar were known as the White mountaineers and the Kyrgyz tribes of the Pamir, Karakoram and Kunlun as the Black mountaineers with Yarkand as their main city of influence, such that the Khojas came to assume the designations of their Kyrgyz allies.

The Turki language ( Modern Uyghur) Tadhkirah i Khwajagan (a Tazkirah) was written by M. Sadiq Kashghari.

Khoja (disambiguation)

The Khojas are a set of communities of Shia Muslims in the Indian Subcontinent.

Khoja may also refer to:

Usage examples of "khoja".

True, Alamut eventually fell, under the pressure of the Mongols, but the Ismaili sect survived throughout the East: it mingled with non-Shiite Sufism, it generated the terrible sect of the Druzes, and it survived finally among the Indian Khojas, the followers of the Aga Khan, not far from the site of Agarttha.